It has been argued that the tourism industry has failed local communities who experienced little of no benefit from what was happening around them. While increasing tourist arrivals and accommodation might be succeeded by normal approach to planning, it might not be an effective method of delivering development to the civil society at large, especially in a case whereby some parts are poor or particularly disadvantaged. On the contrary, the ultra-cautious, ecocentric ecotourism approach will protect the environment without producing economic benefits to all. Burns became interested in researching planning and policymaking in developing the world, with regional interest in the Middle East. However, in this paper, the master planning approach which has been involved in the form of bi- or multi-lateral technical assistance in tourism planning is discussed in detail.
The master plan is not so much driven by the social and economic needs of the destination as b the structure of technical assistance. This results in the marginalization of those who claim that most aid agencies are their target beneficiaries such as the female-headed households, the poor, children, women, rural dwellers, as well as demobilized combatants following war strife (Burns, 2004). On the other hand, tension is created through attacks on tourism, while the solutions provided by “alternative tourism” are usually focused on the ego-enhancing needs of the affluent tourists. The two unresolved narratives discussed above represent the polarized positions of left versus right (also called critical versus uncritical) versions of policy-making and planning. However, the schisms created the traditional left and right versions can be addressed using the “Third Way” which recognizes emerging relationships that exist between individuals and the state formed by active civil society.
According to Giddens, the Third Way Chief proponent, Third Way refers to a framework of thinking and policymaking that involves adapting social democracy to a world that has fundamentally changed over the past two or three decades. In other words, it is a framework that attempts to transcend both neoliberalism and old-style social democracy. What he explained is very pertinent to post-communist and postcolonial countries that are trying to restructure their politics and economies as compelled by corporate forces, global institutions and transnational satellite communications that make repression, totalitarianism and censorship more untenable (Burns, 2004).
Also, in tourism planning, there are some defined issues which have to do with the nature of planning, and illustrating both ends of the planning spectrum. These issues are called the flaws and contradictions in tourism planning. The multidisciplinary nature of the approaches draw on developmental economics, normative economics and developmental studies in relation to the positions set out by “Tourist First” versus “development First” approaches. However, this model relates matters through recurring patterns of binary separation which depend on whether the approach is primarily concerns industry focus or whether its initial aim is to address social development (Burns, 2004).
The flaws in planning describe the fact that stemming from the tensions and contradictions discussed earlier, it is obvious that the current approaches are not suitable based on four important points of view. First of all, from a technical point of view, such plans seem to be too complicated and required much commitment form the government in the form of human and financial resources. Secondly, based on their nature, plans produced under this culture tend to encourage reductionist, homogenizing approach whereby destinations are developed and altered in order to meet up with the requirements. Thirdly, according to the broad political context, the approach is flawed based on undemocratic and non-participative reasons. This means that the common approach that is used to obtain pubic involvement is appointing a steering committee that serve as guidance to the planning team by reviewing its policy planning recommendations and draft reports. The fourth point of view is that master plans, according to their nature, are limited by national boundaries which involve setting up mechanisms that will make countries to compete with each other.
Giddens began his Third Way proposal by describing five main issues or dilemmas which could serve as the main ways in which citizens may respond to what he referred to as the modern revolutions: personal life transformation, globalization and relationship to nature.
- Globalization- This is the reality about the transformation of time and space. It pulls away from the nation-state power for economic management, and creates new possibilities for regenerating social identities (Burns, 2004).
- Individualism- New individualism is usually associated with the retreat of custom and tradition.
- Left and Right-The left will seek to minimize inequality while the right sees the society as inevitably hierarchical.
- Political agency- This refers to the migration of politics away from orthodox mechanism of “end of politics” position.
- Ecological problems- This refers to the partnership that exists among governments, moderate environmentalist and scientific corporations in restructuring the capitalist political economy along environmentally defensible lines.
Generally, Giddens’ argument is that the past political processes are insufficient in dealing with the social complexities of the future as claim in this paper. While both development first and tourism first may act as metaphors for Right and Left politics, they have become redundant based on the radicalization of the center ground which is no longer a place for compromise, but a place the modernization of social democracy and inclusion in the planning processes. The argument has been summarized in relation to the Tourism First approach as being concerned with the delivery of economic enlargement which is not necessarily linked to a spread of benefits (Burns, 2004). This approach can be in danger of musuemizing ethnic people, as well as institutionalizing cultural torpidity in order to protect special places for special tourists.
On the other hand, the trickle-down approach is yet to deliver equity while the e´litist ideas and the markets work against the Development First approach. Also, while this approach is very important in detailing alternative sets of arguments about development, it is automatically assumed that each side, whether soft or hard, is exclusive. It is a more socially and politically transferable compared to Murphy’s earlier work on community participation based on its North American context (Burns, 2004).
However, the monitoring and implementation systems used in this approach should provide for continued community, local involvement and give some sort of power in order to be able to change direction in case the plans seem not to achieve the targeted goals. Most importantly, government institutions will have an overview of the general national goals in order to ensure that tourism planning still remains a subset, rather than gaining some life via the production of overblown plan (Burns, 2004). Nevertheless, it may be considered utopian to develop and encourage social institutions and other NGOs in goal setting and seeking.
In conclusion, this paper identifies the flaws and patterns of bipolarities which arise from the conflict in planning A model is proposed which illustrates certain tensions and contradictions within the master-planning approach which leads to the fundamental development question. The model provides a useful focus for identifying concerns and characterizes the case for Third Way by ranging planning characteristics and paradoxes which are against the Giddens’ five dilemmas. Giddens describes this as a kind of summary for the diversity of general questions and difficulties as a measure of how complicated the terrain is. However, there a number of socially-oriented policy factors which could be included in a Third Way for planning.